Brides for sale – Bulgaria's Roma marriage market | DW Documentary



The Kalaidzhi bride market takes place in the southeast of Bulgaria every year. Unmarried women are often paired off with financially strong men.

But more and more young Roma are rebelling against the old tradition. For young Kalaidzhi the annual bride market at Bachkovo Monastery is the only chance to find a partner. Their Orthodox Christian faith and traditional code of conduct prohibit them from dating, flirting or having any other pre-marital relations. The Kalaidzhi – a name meaning tinsmiths or boilermakers – marry only within the group. Finding a spouse from outside – and in particular a non-Roma Bulgarian – is out of the question. Love is only a secondary consideration. What matters is the dowry. A growing number of young Roma, however, are rebelling against the traditional marriage market. They want to make their own decisions, and to love and marry the person of their choice. For girls especially – some as young as 15 when they are put up for marriage – the wedding is the end of self-determined life. They will subsequently be housewives and mothers. The film accompanies 17-year-old Teni and 19-year-old Maria in the week before the market day. For them it means buying a lot of new clothes and masses of other preparations. Can this be a way to find true love? And how is the outdated ritual affected by the Internet and social media?
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46 comments

  1. The dowry system is not purchasing or selling a daughter. It's a way of showing respect for the bride and her family and cementing the bond between the two families.

  2. These customs are vastly different in each community in India. Dowry given by parents to the groom's family happens. But there is are older customs like giving gold or cash to a girl by groom's family or her parents. The term iused is Stree-dhan ie a woman's treasure. It is hers solely . Not for husband or his family. It is a security for her if she needs it. This was when there were no banks. Besides the dowry system was practised in Europe. The 7 Islands of Mumbai were given as dowry by Portugal for their princess when she married into English nobility. And we also know that in Jane Austen's England marriageable girls were given settled amount of pounds by her parents . This obviously was important consideration when making a marriage proposal. Lastly tge word dowry itself is not Indian. And most modern women in India work and highly educated. No money is exchanged . If gifts are given they are only by choice not obligatory.

  3. I would like to see a more old fashioned way here in the USA, such as boys have to come court at her House, no unescorted dates, no pre maritalsex, talking to see how they get along before jumping in the sack, sad so many sleeping around and diseases.

  4. Man that girl is beautiful I would buy her for 10k euros and get her the heck out of there. Seems really backward and these women especially seem trapped. They have no choices and no options. The guy at least could have done things if he choose but the girl had no choice at all.

  5. Funny shit that they think white skin will burn 🔥 in the natural sun is more beautiful. I can see that because if you have dark skin tour a peasant

  6. A Roma man approached me in a public park in Amsterdam and said “How much for the baby?” I had my one year old son in the stroller. I turned around and ran back to our hotel and called the police.

  7. This is exactly why my daughter is in a PhD program, even in this country if you don’t have a good education a lackluster marriage is your likely outcome.

  8. Anyone else noticed the wife was sitting in the back of the car while the son and husband sat at the front?

  9. Just one more family I would have run away from. Runaway girls, run away. You can have it all if you've got the guts and the
    vision.

  10. I wonder how much I will be sold if I were in that Bride Market 🤔🤔🤔. All respect with all nationalities, everyone has it's own cultures, traditions and beliefs.. all I care is that no one being forced to marry is good. This gurl looks excited so be it. I wish you good life gurl! May you find a guy who will take care of you like you take care of yourself. It's rare nowadays. ❤️❤️❤️

  11. This made me appreciate my life as a woman…
    All women deserve to pursue their dreams and goals not serve the tradition….. 😕

  12. Our neighbors son is like my mom's age 37 the girl he married was forced to marry him she was only 19 when she got married she told us that she didn't wanted to get married but her mother forced her to marry him she has a kid now he beats her and once bruised her hand her mom once came to us and said take care of my daughter my mom told her that she should not have done this and she said she regrets it I babysit her child because that's all I can do she has to work alot I seriously feel so grateful my parents won't do that to me when I get older my sister is like 20 and graduating next year I feel really happy that my parents are not like that;)

  13. Most if not all of these people are somehow related to each other if they only are allowed to marry within their own community.

  14. Sad that half the planet is still stuck with outdated ideas. You give life to your children – why not give them the freedom to choose. Your tenure on earth is only about 80-90 years and you actually do not own anything including your children. When you die you have nothing, not even your body – some other living creature will own it.
    So during this tenure why impose your own ideas and beliefs on your children. Love them, provide for them, but don't possess them.

  15. They sell their daughters to strangers they don't know if they are normal or sick and abusive?? Also, they don't allow a not virgin woman to get married but they allow a not virgin man to do so? Like she's lost her virginity all by herself…

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